Charles Dickens employs the two characters of Compeyson and Abel Magwitch to illustrate his motif of society as a type of prison itself. For Magwitch, a child of the streets, is from childhood condemned as he had to steal--"tramping, begging, thieving--and do whatever he could to survive. He tells Pip in Chapter 42 that he one day met Compeyson at Epsom Races, wearing "a watch and a chain and a ring and a breast pin and a handsome suit of clothes"--apparently, a gentleman. But, Compeyson tells him he is not one; instead, he asks what Magwitch can do, and he takes Magwitch on as "his man and pardner [sic]."
Here in this chapter, the suggestion of Cain and Abel cannot be missed with these two characters as poor Magwitch is used by Compeyson:
"All sorts of traps as Compeyson could set with his head, and let another man in for, was Compeyson's business. He'd not more heart than a iron file, he was as cold as death, and he had the head of the Devil....."
"I might a-took warning by...
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